Take-Two Interactive Software, the owners of 2K Games and studios including Firaxis and Rockstar, have bought Kerbal Space Program [official site]. Unlike when Microsoft bought Minecraft gang Mojang, Take-Two are only buying the game and not the studio who make it, Squad. However, Squad will continue to work on the splendid spaceship-building sandbox game and its upcoming expansion. This acquisition is announced barely a week after Valve confirmed that several former KSP developers had joined them for something mysterious. Interesting times.
KSP should continue largely as before, Squad said today:
“The important thing to know is that this big news doesn’t change much for the KSP community. Squad and the current development team is still here and we’re hard at work on KSP and its future updates, but now we are fortunate enough to do so with the help of an experienced publisher like Take-Two, and we couldn’t be more excited and happy to see where our conjoint collaboration will take KSP forward.”
The promise of free DLC for folks who bought KSP early enough will stand, Squad say.
The rumour mill has whispered of problems at Squad for a while. One former member complained about low wages and long hours in May 2016, while another didn’t seem best pleased about the crunch time either. Then in October, eight core members quit. According to rumour, they were the bulk of the dev team and they quit because of management issues and poor working conditions. All of this is a little hazy, so don’t take it as stone cold fact, but it might explain why Take-Two were only interested in buying Kerbal and not the studio working on it.
So what do Take-Two want from this? Business.
“We have been impressed with Kerbal Space Program since its launch, and we are committed to grow this unique experience while continuing to support its passionate community,” Michael Worosz, Take-Two’s head of corporate development and independent publishing, said in their own business-y announcement.
“We view Kerbal Space Program as a new, long-term franchise that adds a well-respected and beloved IP to Take-Two’s portfolio as we continue to explore opportunities across the independent development landscape.”
IPs for the IP god, portfolios for the portfolio throne.